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Kelly Cline Quilting

How To Flatten a “Not So Perfect” Quilt Top or Border!

YES, it can be done! I learned this method from a wonderful class with Sharon Schamber. You can use starch and heat to reduce wobbles and waves from any quilt top, border, or block! I did this last week with a beautiful, vintage top. The quilt was machine pieced and hand appliqued in the blocks.

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This is what the block looked like before I created the magic! There was at least 2 inches of extra fabric in the center. After I sprayed the block and ironed, it was almost flat. I was able to start stitching at this point with NO WRINKLES OR CREASES!

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The final block looks like it was perfectly flat to begin with!

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As usual, I used my favorite quilting rulers for lots of ditch stitching on this quilt.

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Now, if you’re still wondering how this whole starch and shrink thing works, watch this quick video.  I learn by watching, so I hope the visual helps you too!

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Bonnie Hernandez
    May 2, 2016

    Thanks! That was very helpful! Love your work!!!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Maggie
      May 30, 2016

      I just happen to be doing this now! The 12.25″ squares are okay but the 3″ squares at the four corner in the sashing are lousy! Can I use the spray starch on just those 3″ squares??? Will it stain the other area?

  2. Leave a Reply

    Janie
    May 3, 2016

    Wonderful tip and demo. Will be remembering that one every time i have a wonky border! Thanks!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Beata
    May 3, 2016

    Thank you for sharing. I didn’ do it with starch and heating but with water and heating /or becoming dry, if you have time;-)/ and it works good to me. I used to “overpress” my patchwork blocks sometimes and it was hard to put them together properly so I decided to try the natural cotton fiber tendency to shrink.
    Best regards :-).
    / I hope it make sense despite of my poor English/.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Shari
    May 3, 2016

    I use the “AZ press” with a good spray of water while I’m loading the baking and let the dry desert air/heat smooth it out nicely. I’ve used water without heat on the top, but I like your idea of the starch. I’m going to give it a try with some borders I’ve got sitting in my bing waiting to be quilted.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Lynne Stucke
    May 3, 2016

    Wonderful video with great tips. Thank you.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Marsha cline
    May 3, 2016

    Kellie thank you for your great tips. Will try this. Thank you, Marsha Cline

  7. Leave a Reply

    Virginia McKenna
    May 3, 2016

    The only thing I can say is Amazing!!! Well maybe two things, now I really wish I had a long arm but I will be content with what I have now. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Amanda
    May 3, 2016

    That happens to me all the time! I can’t wait to try this and see how it works. Thanks for the info!

  9. Leave a Reply

    linda-kaye
    May 4, 2016

    Hey Kelly, thanks so much for sharing this video! As a newer follower it was a pleasure to see you in action. I love seeing your work!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Patty Hecke
    May 4, 2016

    Great to know ahead of time! Thanks Kelly!

  11. Leave a Reply

    Heide
    May 7, 2016

    You quilt is lovely. Great fabrics and fantastic quilting

  12. Leave a Reply

    Mona Keegan
    May 30, 2016

    Kelly, senility has set in for me. I apologize for confusing your name in the previous comment. I follow both you and Lyn Durbin for quilting on fb. I did buy your rulers, though. And, I really did enjoy this post & video. Thanks, mona

  13. Leave a Reply

    Karen
    July 15, 2016

    Is there a method for flattening blocks before quilting? I’d like to quilt a vintage top on my domestic machine, but, like your example, there is extra fabric in some of the blocks. I can see the advantage to stretching the top prior to starch and heat. Any suggestions?

    • Leave a Reply

      [email protected]
      July 17, 2016

      Hi Karen, you can “block” your quilt before quilting. You’ll need an ironing board surface or something you can use an iron on. You would pin down the quilt, spray with starch, then take a steam iron over the surface.

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